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How to Make a Fishtail Braid

Create this intricate herringbone-style braid in your daughter's hair


How to make a fishtail braid in your daughter's hairAlso called the herringbone, this braid looks impressively intricate, especially on long hair. Don't be intimidated; once you understand the hand placement, it practically braids itself.

What You'll Need:

  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Ponytail holders


15 Minutes


Step 1: Start with damp hair (either towel-dried or misted) and use the wide-tooth comb to detangle the hair.
Step 2: Divide the hair into two equal sections at the nape of the neck. If you're a beginner, try starting with a ponytail, placing the elastic at the nape of the neck. Divide the ponytail into two equal sections, right and left.
Step 3: Hold the right section with your right hand. Using your left hand, gather a skinny (about 1/8 inch wide) strand of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over to the inside of the right section, now holding that section with your right hand. You should now have two sections again; the left (missing that strand of hair), and the right with the strand you just incorporated. Pull the braid taut.
Step 4: Now hold the left section in your left hand. Use your right hand to pick up a skinny strand of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over to the inside of the left section, now holding that section with your left hand. Again, you're left with two sections. Pull taut.
Step 5: Continue picking up small sections from the outside of one section and joining them to the inside of the other.  Once you get into a groove, it's easy!  When you reach the end, secure the braid with a ponytail holder.

Also try making the French Braid Headband and the Heart Braid.

From Cozy's Complete Guide to Girls' Hair by Cozy Friedman (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011. Jennifer Playford illustrations/Alexandra Grablewski photographer.

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